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19 March 2018 / 2. Rajab 1439

Yet another attack on the shrine of Sayyidah Zaynab

Updated on 12 March 2018

On Thursday 7 November 2013, 4 shells were fired at the Shrine of Sayyidah Zaynab.  One of the shells struck one of the minarets causing minor damage. Another hit the courtyard, injuring 30 people, 15 of which were women and children.  At the time of the attack several young female students of a Madressa were present and were injured.  Fortunately, there were no deaths as a result of the attack.  

This follows a series of previous attacks, with the most recent which occurred last July where several mortar shells were fired in the vicinity of the shrine.  The top administrator of the shrine was killed during the shelling at the Holy site and several were injured.  The mosque was also damaged.  The shrine also suffered damage in an attack by terrorists in June 2012, and a car bomb exploded on the intersection that leads up to the mosque in September, 2008.  

The mosque located in the city of Sayyidah Zaynab, is in the southern suburbs of Damascus, Syria. The shrine has become a center of Shia religious studies in Syria and a destination of mass pilgrimage by Shia Muslims from across the world.  The masjid adjoining the shrine can accommodate more than 1,300 and a further 150 in the attached courtyards.  Approximately 1 million people visit the shrine every year.

The worsening condition in Syria
The conditions and numbers of the Syria crisis are staggering.  According to the UNHCR, over 2.1 million Syrian refugees have fled the escalating violence, 1 million of whom are children (26 September). Moreover, an additional 5 million Syrians remain internally displaced within their own country.

By year-end, it is estimated that half the population of Syria will be in need of humanitarian assistance. This includes an anticipated 3.45 million refugees, as well as another 6.8 million Syrians still inside the country, many of whom will be displaced from their homes.

The attack on the Shrine of Bibi Zaynab is just another example of the constant violence that the country is immersed in.  

The World Federation of KSIMC condemns this attack on the sacred Shrine of Sayyidah Zaynab and the ongoing violence in Syria.  We express our deep sadness at the current situation pray for peace and safety for all in this region.

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